Once used to hack through burning buildings, the fire axe has since been adapted to hack through people and wasteland critters. It has a moderately high damage, but its selling point is an extended attack range, which allows the player to hit targets farther away than normally permitted.
While using V.A.T.S., a special attack named 'Mauler', which does 50% damage (requires a Melee skill of 50) can knock enemies down, but costs 27 action points. 'Mauler' will sometimes knock a weapon out of an enemies hand instead of knocking them down. If you dismember an opponent, the fire axe will have a blood stain on the blade, which will disappear in a matter of seconds.
Knock-Knock, a unique variant that benefits from more damage and faster rate of attack.